Not so long ago a very sweet vanilla woman posted on Fetlife asking for relationship advice – her husband is submissive and wants her to dominate him, but kink just doesn’t really do it for her. She loves her husband and wants him to be happy, but she’s struggling.
Most people had useful advice for her (the usual talk with your husband, figure out what he really means when he says he wants to submit, see if you can enjoy some kinks for how much they turn him on, even if they don’t really do it for you), and some people had incredibly shitty, self-centered, and completely unrealistic advice.
If someone is already uncomfortable with kink, telling her to try “really taking control” by denying her husband an orgasm for longer than usual is the exact opposite of helpful. Seriously, the only thing I can think of that would actually be less helpful would be to tell the poor woman she’s obviously not a dom and should give up on the whole kink idea.
Another man, who was clearly thinking with his dick, first gave the not-so-terrible advice of going along with her husband’s plan to try switching (him taking the dominant role while she submits) which could have given her a better idea what her husband wanted, but unfortunately followed it up with another comment suggesting she perform a scene he outlined (in detail, because obviously the problem is that she doesn’t have enough people telling her what to do) without any thought to whether the original poster or her husband would be remotely interested in it.
The whole debacle made me think of this comment of Dev’s on a post of maymay’s titled “‘Finally! Something that speaks to dominant women!’ they said”
“It drives me nuts that every enquiry or discussion about femdom is about how to make it hotter to submissive men – as though that is the problem with femdom, that submissive men don’t find it hot enough. It’s crazy.
I don’t mean to imply that men (submissive or otherwise) are so easy they just find any old thing hot. That’s just a pernicious stereotype. They are actually, surprise, people, and all like different things, and need to work just as hard as others to figure out their own preferences.
But, generally speaking, the complaint of submissive men is that there aren’t enough dominant women, or that their own partner won’t dominate them. And the solution to that is adamantly not “Let’s figure out exactly what’s hot to the man and do more of that.” If you don’t make it hotter to women, they won’t play.
Not every woman is going to enjoy being dominant anyway. We have our own sexualities too. But for a woman who might, or could, or does enjoy being dominant, it has to be based on what’s in it for her. Otherwise she’s just doing you a favor, which is fine, but then at least don’t make her lie about it, please.”
Maymay’s post and Dev’s comment are both from 2008, but they’re just as relevant today as they were five years ago. I think the last line in particular does a lot to explain why so many submissive men complain about not being able to get their partners to dominate them. If you tell someone you want her to be in charge and do whatever she wants to do, then tell her exactly what to do, when to do it, and what to wear while she’s doing it, it’s not going to take her long to figure out that you don’t actually want her to be in charge at all. No wonder vanilla women get confused and unhappy when they try to “dominate” their submissive boyfriends! Not only are they expected to do all these weird activities they don’t enjoy, but they’re supposed to somehow feel like they’re in charge when they’re actually doing exactly what they’re told, and they constantly feel like failures as doms because they haven’t uncovered some magical wellspring of lust for activities that just don’t do it for them.
Submissive guys, you can bitch about how few dominant women there are, or you can keep acting like the entire scene revolves around your cock, but you don’t get to do both. For people who supposedly worship women, some of you have remarkably little interest in what it is we want.